Takata Corp. is planning an extensive advertising campaign to urge consumers to get its air bag defect fixed. The outreach efforts for a series of massive recalls affecting 11 automakers and an estimated 32 million vehicles include targeting high-humidity states like Texas and Florida first. According to Takata, the company decided on a regional approach to ensure the availability of replacement kits.
Takata’s proposal includes “a robust digital advertising campaign” and is designed to support the automakers’ efforts to increase recall completion rates, according to Jared Levy, a U.S. spokesman for the company. Takata told NHTSA last month that it’s working to maximize the number of vehicles that get repaired and assisting in the auto companies’ outreach efforts.
The report to NHTSA was required under the May agreement that we have mentioned. Takata admitted to a safety defect and expanded some air bag recalls. Takata told NHTSA that it’s planning to begin advertising in seven U.S. southern states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. The initial wave of ads will include Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The air bag supplier is planning to emphasize digital advertising through websites like CNN and Yahoo!, as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter.
The banner ads used will be in red with the phrase “Urgent Airbag Recall Notice” in bold letters. The company also will work with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on a direct mailing to reach about 85 percent of the U.S. market. Takata also filed a plan on how it will conduct the testing that is designed to find the root cause for the air bag failures. The testing plan contains proprietary information, including technical changes to inflators that hasn’t been released outside the company, Takata said in the filing with NHTSA. The agency granted the confidentiality request after reviewing the documents.
NHTSA is reviewing both of the reports. The agency and Takata have agreed to cooperate on testing of air bag modules as both investigate possible causes for the explosions. NHTSA is urging consumers to comply with the recalls. Apparently that’s because the agency believes the newer air bag units are safer than the defective versions. But, as you may recall, neither the company nor NHTSA can assure vehicle owners that the fixes will permanently reduce the risk of an exploding air bag. NHTSA’s administrator, Mark Rosekind, said at a June 2 congressional hearing there may be more than one root cause for the Takata explosions. He stated that investigators may never know for sure what the real issue is. It surely does seem that all of the actual causes should have been known by now and the specific culprit identified.
Source: Claims Journal
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